DAMS AND HYDRO POWER IN CHINA • China gets 5 percent of it energy and 20 percent of its electricity from hydro energy. China already has many dams and has plans to build lots more. Share of the worlds dams: 1) China (45 percent); 2) the United States (14 percent); 3) India (9 percent); 4) Japan (6 percent); Other countries (26 percent). • China boasts nearly half of the world’s 50,000 large dams—three times more than the United States —and construction continues. • Twenty major dams punctuate the Yellow River and another 18 are scheduled to be built by 2030. Sanmenxia
Today, China has more than 20,000 dams over 49 feet high – the most of any country in the world. • The world’s three largest dams: • Three Gorges (China) 18,200 megawatts • Itaipu, Brazil and Paraguay 12,600 megawatts • Grand Coulee Dam (U.S., Washington State) • 10,000 megawatts
Reasons to Build Dam • Improve navigation along the Yangtze River. Major Highway for movement of coal, other goods and people • Prevent seasonal flooding which used to cause loss of life and property along river. • Provide hydroelectric power desperately needed energy for growing population • Reduce dependence on coal with environmental and health and safety issues
Idea was first proposed in 1919 Sun Yat Sen first proposed building a dam on the Yangtze (Chang Jiang). The idea was shelved due to unfavorable political and economic conditions.
History • 1919- The Three Gorges projects was first mentioned • Work was halted and restarted many times • December 14, 1993: US Bureau of Reclamation terminated the agreement for technical services • Due to economic and environmental impacts
Three Gorges Dam • In 1994, the Chinese government began construction on the Three Gorges Dam. • At 1.4 miles long and 630 feet high (roughly the height of a 50-story building), it is the world's largest dam. • It produced a giant lake, or reservoir, 350 miles long and holds more than a trillion gallons of water.
General Facts • Took 17 Years to complete • Cost about $59 billion • World’s largest hydroelectric project • Generates 22.5 gigawatts of power • Enough to power Pakistan or Switzerland
Three Gorges Dam Facts • The resulting 400 mile long reservoir will supply enough water to generate 84 billion kilowatts-per-hour of electricity. • The dam wall is made of concrete and is about 2,309 metres (7,575 ft) long, and 101 metres (331 ft) high. • The wall is 115 metres (377.3 ft) thick on the bottom and 40 metres (131.2 ft) thick on top. • The project used 27,200,000 cubic metres of concrete, 463,000 tonnes of steel, enough to build 63 Eiffel Towers, and moved about 102,600,000 cubic metres of earth.
Size Largest construction project since the Great Wall A 610-ft. wall will run about 1.3 miles from bank to bank Major source of electrical power for China Produces 18,000 megawatts – the equivalent to about 15 – 20 nuclear power plants or 10 big coal-fired power stations burning 50 million tons of coal.
Satellite View of Three Gorges Dam at Yangtze River using Google Earth Data View of the largest hydroelectric dam in the world.Three Gorges Dam crossing Yangtze River at Sandouping, Yichang, Hubei province, China.
Conflicting Goals and Problems • Flooding, Dam-Building, and Related Issues • China’s Yangtze River is an important resource (3rd largest volume) • The Three Gorges Controversy • Chinese government wants to dam the Yangtze (Chang Jiang) River with the largest hydroelectric dam in the world • Purpose: control floods & generate electricity • Problems: Will jeopardize animal species, flood a major scenic attraction, and displace up to 2 million people
As the dam fills and the valley is flooded, towns and villages like this on the hillside are at risk of being destroyed. Where do people from these places go?
The city of Wuchan will be flooded to the red arrow line when the reservoir is completely filled. The water level will be elevated 574 ft. above Yangtze River surface.
Ship lock consist of 5 locks each: • 918 ft. long • 35 ft. wide • With a water depth of 16.4 ft.
Displaced people are moved up the slopes or sent to other areas of China. Families separatedNew bridges replace submerged onesNew building often on old landslip areas due to shortage of flat land for building
Reservoir Induced Landslides caused by buildup of groundwater inside sediments along side of Gorge.
Note High Silt Load of River Three Gates Gorge Dam Note Re-emergence of agricultural land due to silting in of reservoir.
Positives: Flooding Control • The Three Gorges reservoir acts as a buffer and can lessen the risk of floods.
Positives: Flooding Control • Massive floods have killed many people • 1931: 145,000 people killed • 1935: 142,000 people killed • 1954: 30,000 people killed, one million lost homes
Positives: Flooding Control • By storing waters that would have causes floods, the long-term benefits are endless. • This massive effort will allow the government to control the river's chronic flooding, which caused more than 2,000 deaths in 1998 and left nearly 14 million people homeless. • Improved flood protection along the Yangtze River • To control flooding downstream on the East China Plain. • Every so often these plains are devastated by a major flood where a thousand people die, a million lose their homes and 5 million have to be rescued. • The government built dozens of sewage and garbage treatment plants. • Since, 1951 run-off in the Yangtze Basin has decreased by over one third.
Positives: Flooding Control • In 1998 flooding in the area expected to be controlled by the dam resulted in 4,000 dead, 14 million left homeless and $24 billion in economic loss. • Historically, the people living along the Yangtze have suffered tremendous losses due to flooding • In 1954, 30, 000 more died in the floods or from diseases brought on by the flooding and 19 million people were affected directly or indirectly and part of the railway could not function for 100 days • Lessen the frequency of large floods from once in 10 years to once in 100 years.
Positives: Flooding Control • In 1998, a flood caused billions of dollars in damages, killed 1, 500 people, and flooded 2,000 square kilometers of farmland, and affected about 200 million people • 1998 flood resulted total loss of about 25 billion Euros • In 1931, 145,000 people drowned and over 300,000 hectares of farmland was flooded
Positives: Water Shortage Issue • It will produce a giant lake, or reservoir, 350 miles long and hold more than a trillion gallons of water. • The reservoir will increase water availability • There will be more water available for irrigation, industrial uses, and human consumption in the Yangtze River Basin and in water-deficient northern China to about 400 million people
Positives: New Tourism • In addition, ocean vessels will be able to travel farther inland, which will boost trade and tourism, and hydroelectric power from the dam will generate inexpensive electricity, thereby cutting greenhouse gas emissions and the use of coal and fossil fuels. • Reservoir will boost tourism because tourists can reach natural views and vistas by the locks that they were not able to do before
Positives: Navigation and More Trade • To move water to the arid north. • To improve shipping so the ocean-going ships can reach Chongqing. • By building the dam, it increases the depth of the Yangtze River and would allow ships to travel 6000 kilometers farther upstream • River shipping through central Yangtze estimated to increase from 10 million to 50 million tons a yr., with transportation costs cut by 30-37%
Positives: Navigation and More Trade • In 2006, 50 million more tons of cargo moved through the system up from 18 million tons before the dam was built • In 2007, the 50 million was exceeded • Shipping costs should drop by 35 to 37% • The ship locks system is the largest in the world and will allow larger ships to travel carrying more cargo • The navigation locks allow 10,000 ton ships to travel the river, where before ships carrying only 1,500 tons were limited.
Positives: Power Source • It would supply much needed electrical power for development. • Once operational, the dam will produce the energy of 15 nuclear power plants. • The electricity generated by the Three Gorges Dam will reportedly illuminates half of China • Its 26 700-megawatt turbine generators have a productions capacity equal to the energy produced by 18 nuclear plants or the burning of 40 million tons of coal. • Will provide energy to 60 million residents currently without power. • Hydroelectric is cleaner than coal burning and nuclear waste. • Ozone protected from greenhouse gas emissions. • The dam’s total electric generating power will ultimately be 22, 500 megawatts, enough to power millions of homes and provide a large portion of China’s energy needs. • The world’s largest hydropower project and most notorious dam. • When complete, the project will generate one ninths of China’s power. • It is the world’s biggest man-made produce of electricity from renewable energy. • Hydropower is the centerpiece of one of China’s praised green initiatives. • Dams are much cleaner producers of electricity.
Positives: Power Source • The Three Gorges Dam is to be an anchor in a string of hydropower “megabases” planned for the middle and upper reaches of the Yangtze River. • By 2020, China wants to nearly triple its hydroelectric power. • Hydropower is one of China’s richest and least tapped energy resources. • Presently, China only uses about ¼ of its hydropower potential.
Positives: Power Source • To ease its addiction to coal which accounts for 67% of China’s energy supply and pollutes horribly, China wants 15% of the country’s energy consumption to come from renewable resources by 2020. • Presently, it is about 7.5%.
Positives: Power Source • It is believed if the Three Gorges Dam produced electricity at full capacity it would prevent the Chinese people from: • Burning more than 50 million tons of coal a year • Producing more than 100 million tons of carbon dioxide • Producing more than 1.2 to 2 million tons of sulfur dioxide • Producing more than 10,000 tons of carbon monoxide • All contributing to the air pollution problems in China
Positives: Revenue Generated • Dams are a huge business in China • China has acquired the know-how to build large hydropower schemes, and has begun exporting similar projects around the world • Giant utilities that build them are funded with government and private investment money • When the corporation building the Three Gorges Dam publicly listed in 2003, on the stock market, their share prices surged by 45% and the company raised nearly 1.2 billion dollars in one day
Negatives: Resettlement Issues Roughly 70 percent of the country’s 10.2 million "reservoir relocatees" were still living in "extreme poverty” after the resettlement. http://www.cnn.com/SPECIALS/1999/china.50/asian.superpower/three.gorges/
Negatives: Resettlement Issues • China’s highest state body warned that the Three Gorges Project has “caused some urgent problems in terms of environmental protection, the prevention of geological hazards and the welfare of the relocated communities.” • Some villagers in Fengjie Country were relocated to a new village site less than a mile away but were not given enough compensation to get new housing • Ms. Han said “We only have 10,000 yuan or $1300 and with such a small amount of money, I can’t even build a first floor.”
Negative-Resettlement Issues • Originally required 1.3 million people in a 405 square mile area • Over ten towns will have to be flooded to build the dam and people will have to move. • The government says 1.3million people, others say up to 3 million. • As of 2007, Prime Minister Wen Jiabao the dam has displaced more than 23 million people • 20,000 people have just been relocated for the second time due to this project • Originally resettled in 1998 to Huangtupo • Relocated again in August 22, 2012
Negatives: Resettlement Issues • Number of Displaced or Resettled People Varies: 1.3 million, 4 million, or now the total over all the years of 40-80 million • 43% of the people are farmers and there was not enough good farmland to give to them to compensate for their losses • Flooded 13 cities, 140 towns, and 1, 350 villages • Homes, factories, farms, fisheries, and ancient temples lost now under water • Some of the people are given financial compensation and moving expenses. • Others are given either new farm land or new factory jobs. • Much of the new farm land is barely usable and is located on steep inclines requiring excess precipitation. • Critique of the resettlement plans is prohibited in the media.